Why RV Storage is a Good Idea

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Flickr Creative Commons: Fort Rucker

If there’s one thing that all of us at PPL Motorhomes know is that putting effort into researching, choosing and buying your first RV takes a lot of work, but many prospective RV owners are not fully aware of the realities of RV ownership. There are many things to keep in mind if you are getting your first (or fifth RV), the biggest being where are you going to store it when you’re not using it?

You initial response might be, “well, I’ll keep it in our driveway at home”. Parking the vehicle at your residence can be an issue for many homeowners is suburbia. If you do not have a liberal amount of driveway space around your home, you may be looking at on-street parking. I’m going to warn you right now, parking your RV on the street will be either illegal, dangerous, annoying to neighbors or all of the above. Also, if your subdivision you likely have deed restrictions and a homeowner’s association that is chomping at the bit to levy fines against all who break the rules. For example, I know a couple who rented a Class C for a trip to Colorado and parked the RV in their driveway for half a day prepping and packing for their trip early the next morning. When they got back 2 weeks later, they had a nasty letter and a fine from their HOA for the half a day that the RV was on their property. Half a day, folks.

So, what is your BEST option? Some owners may wish to house their vehicle indoors to avoid any winter damage typically caused by ice, rain and sun. Consider storage facilities  – these can be both indoor and outdoor. They usually provide a level of security such as lock up, video surveillance etc. Some facilities, not only offer storage, but also concierge services, RV Service, wash bays, disposal and much more for a very reasonable price. Many RV owners choose to use this facility during the winter months only, when they have no intention of using their vehicle. Consider also the damage that certain tree types can do to a RV, if parking under trees.

Hopefully this has pointed you in the right direction to start acquiring the knowledge to owning an consignment RV. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us here at PPL Motorhomes!

Eurochair RV Recliner

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I may be showing my age a little bit, but there are some days where all I’d like to do in my RV is have a nice…brisk…sit. And I’m telling you, we have an awesome recliner that suits the bill just beautifully. The Eurochair from Lippert is a great little recliner that doesn’t take up much room in the RV. All it needs, space-wise, is 7″ at the top, and 12″ clearance at the bottom to be opened fully. They’re covered in Alternate Latte upholstery and packed with high density foam, which is dang comfy.

So let’s picture it in our minds OK? It’s one of those sweltering hot July days in TX and we’re at our favorite State Park for the weekend. Luckily we’ve found a spot in the shade and it’s not too crowded. This morning we woke up early and went for a hike down to the water. The park offered a beginner archery class at 11, and then we followed that up with a good lunch. Now what is better than taking a little siesta in our new Eurochair Recliner? Have a little nap through the heat of the day so we’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed when it’s time for thjat sundowner and some star gazing this evening.

I’m telling you these things are comfy. Is there much better than kicking up your feet at the end of a busy day, maybe with a frosty beverage of your choice in one hand and maybe a fan blowing on you? So check one of these recliners out and have that comfort you deserve. Not only that but you can do the Archie Bunker thing when your grandkids try to sit in your chair! “Get outta my chair kid!” you can mock growl, winking at them as the get up. The benefits of age people. Click right HERE for more information.

Hang a Chandelier in the RV!

How cool would it be to have a real chandelier in your RV? Granted they tend to take up a fair bit of room and you’d probably bump your head on it, or knock it down and cuss it from one end of the RV to the other….but…wouldn’t it be cool to have one just for the added ambiance during a nice sit-down dinner with the hubby?

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Well the folks at Heng’s have come up with a light ring called the “RV Chandelier” that mounts around the base of your air vents. You have your choice of either cool white light or warm white light and the option of using a clear bezel or a diffuser. Just imagine you’re sitting down to a romantic dinner…the kids and grandkids are hundreds and hundreds of miles away, you two are at your favorite campsite, you’ve cooked up a special dinner…now wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those vent ring chandeliers with the warm white light and the diffuser to help set the mood?

Another awesome thing about this light rig is that it uses LEDs, so you’re getting good bright light (when you want it) and the fixtures aren’t adding heat to the inside of the RV. The rings are easy to install also, and they operate off of 12V. If it were me I’d buy one for each vent and hook them up to their own independent dimmer switches, that way I’d have full control over how much “ambiance” my RV is soaked in. Wouldn’t be good to have everything so dang ambient that I stubbed my toe or tripped over something you know!

Anyhow, swing by the website and check out these fixtures, they’re super cool. Oh, and we’ve got them on sale until July. You can learn all about them right here. And don’t forget to come by the websote before you hit the road, we’re happy to get you all fixed up!

Make the RV Cool(er)

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NH53/Flickr Creative Commons

Sorry if this blog is old news for you long-time RV’rs but there are so many new owners of RV’s out there I thought maybe they would find these tips useful. It’s Full Summer out there people, so today we’re going to discuss different common sense ways to help keep the RV cool during this hot weather.

I once saw an old man holding hands with what I assumed was his granddaughter in a Randall’s parking lot here in Houston, Texas. the little girl was asking him why he parked so far from the store when there were empty spots closer, and the grandfather said, “Because our spot is in the shade.” If you folks are new to Texas, or new to summer RV’ing, you should do your absolute best to park that sucker in the shade every time. Just that slight reduction in direct sunlight can make a huge difference, ESPECIALLY if your RV is painted in darker colors.

This may seem too simple to be true, but if you’re in an exposed parking spot try to park the RV with the awning on the west side. Then run it out and it will block a large chunk of afternoon sun from shining in the windows. While you’re at it, keep the rest of the window shades drawn to keep the sun from being as effective at warming the ambient air inside the RV.

Remember your grandmother’s house before they put in the window unit air conditioners? Or maybe your great-grandmother’s house? Or if you’re too young, perhaps you’ve been to the state capitol up in Austin? You might have noticed lot of the doors in those pre-AC days were built with transoms above them to help the house have good airflow through it. You can do the same in your RV using the vents to prevent a lot of heat from building up inside the RV while you’re out running errands or having that summer fun.

Swing by our website and have a look through our climate control, AC gear, vents, and awnings and we’d be glad to help you get that RV cooler!

 

Aw, Hail!

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Terry Presley/Flickr Creative Commons

I can’t remember if we’ve ever talked about hail. Of so, it’s been a long, long, long time and we might as well hit it again. So here we are mid-spring, the weather has been mostly wonderful. Central Texas, and North Texas too, have had some pretty powerful weather over the course of the spring and that belt of the state from north of Austin to the Red River gets strong storms pretty regularly. I still remember when Jarrell got wiped out by a tornado back in the 90’s. So what do you do when those storms are coming and they’re bringing hail and damaging winds with them?

Now it’s almost a cliche about RVs and travel trailers being beaten up by bad weather, but there is nothing more important than the well being of yourself and your loved ones. If weather is headed your way, and you don’t have time to get moving out of it’s path, your absolute best option is to seek shelter. That applies whether it’s straight-line winds, severe lightning, floods, hail, etc etc etc. Find yourself a sturdy, permanent structure if possible and get inside. Then keep away from windows and wait it out.

So you’ve made it through the storm and you’re looking your RV over immediately afterwards and it has taken a beating. We here at PPL can help you get it back to looking it’s best with replacement for all that damaged stuff up on top. I’m talking about replacements for refrigerator vent covers, vent lids, A/C shrouds, plumbing vent caps, and if you have punctures we even have self-adhesive rubber roof repair kits. Chances are if you have antennas mounted up top, they’ve taken a beating too. It’s amazing the amount of stuff we have up there that kind of gets forgotten about. So if you’ve gone through some severe weather, survey your RV or trailer, than call us and let us know how we can help you get back on the road!

 

If I Become President There Will Be No Cold Showers In America!

Your alarm goes off, the sun is just peeking up over the horizon and your windows are beginning to brighten up. You stumble out of bed, brrrrrrr it’s chilly this morning. First things first, let’s get that coffee maker percolating. You accidentally spill some coffee grounds on the counter while you’re filling the machine, but you finally get that delicious red light lit and coffee cooking. You reach under the counter for a paper towel, because nobody replaced the roll on the counter, and when you raise up you bonk your head on a partially open drawer. Yep, it’s gonna be that kind of morning isn’t it? You didn’t want to wake up early, leave your warm bed, spill coffee, and bonk your head did you? Might as well hit the shower while the coffee percolates. You strip down, turn on the water and YIKES!! Oh my GOODNESS that’s cold!! Yep, your water heater has crapped out on you.

Which brings me to the problem solving device of today’s blog. A friend of mine has a tankless water heater and I’m here to tell you that thing is amazing. Especially on mornings described above, a tankless water heater would do more than just be a space saving, energy efficient appliance…it would be a morale boosting, confidence inspiring, let’s-get-out-there-and-conquer-the-day kind of necessity! We offer a tankless water heater by Suburban that will fill this role nicely.

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It is specifically designed and sized to replace your existing water tank whether it’s a 6, 10, 12, or 16 gallon tank. They can either be operated through a standard on/off switch, or if you prefer, a control center may be installed in your coach that will allow you to set an exact temperature so you can have consistent bliss when you turn the tap in the shower. If you’re interested in learning more about these awesome set ups, click right HERE and treat yourself to a better than average Monday.

RV Pet Peeve

Well folks, that “winter” here in Southeast Texas wasn’t much of a thing now was it? Don’t get me wrong, we had a few days below freezing and one or two of those rainy, chilly gray days (like you see in England during the summer, haaaa!), but it seems to me like the majority of this last winter we could have spent in shorts and wearing a light jacket. So, unless you just planted a garden and your little green shoots are starting to pop up, most of us reckon there won’t be another freeze before December. With that said, shall we declare Victory over winter and just go ahead and move on to spring?

Spring. Man I love it. Spring is a great time to pull the covers off the RV, and get her all spiffed for driving season. Might be a good time to go back and read a few of our blogs from weeks past and map out some great destinations too. And I know y’all have a checklist of things to do to get the RV or camper all ready to go, but I was wondering if I could make a suggestion? It’s one of those things that tend to get ignored a little bit because…well…they’re just not pleasant.

I’ll put it to you like this: Have you ever seen somebody at a waste station at a park or campground and their sewer hose is just thrashed? Like Randy Quaid in Christmas Vacation dumping his sewer into the storm drain with his hose leaking and covered in duct tap “patches”? Well, that is one of my pet peeves. Seeing somebody with a beat up sewer hose that may be leaking that black water where all the rest of us might accidentally track through it. Not only is it disgusting, but that sort of laziness poses a health risk not only to the user, but to the rest of us as well. They aren’t expensive, we have them in stock, click right HERE to replace your beat up nasty old hose will you? Please? ALL of us out here thank you!

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Bang Your Head?

Well y’all we’ve been talking about a whole series of problem solving products these last few week, and I thought of another one this morning. How many times have you needed to get something out of the little baggage cubbies underneath your slideouts and had those baggage compartment cubbie doors come down and bang your head? Always seems to happen when you have your hands full, or it’s dark, or when it’s raining. There you are with your flashlight trying to find whatever it was that you went down there looking for and hoping you spot it before it gets all wet.

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You know what would solve that whole problem? Some of those little hydraulic spring thingies that hold the doors open so you can fetch what you need helmet-free. We offer complete retrofitted kits by Hatchlift that will accomplish that very task. They’re great and you can set them to hold the door open at 90 degrees, which is perfect for under slideouts, or you can set them for 140 degrees which is perfect for those doors mounted with nothing above them. That 140 degree hold open will keep the door up and out of the way while you rummage, pack, or unpack.

These kits are pretty inexpensive and come with one hydraulic spring, so if you have longer doors that need this problem solved, you’ll probably have to get two springs…depending on the door’s weight. They’re super easy to install, and believe me once you’ve got them attached you (and your poor head) will wonder why you didn’t put them on years ago. If you’re curious to know more, or wonder what different sizes they come in, click right HERE and you’ll be whisked away in internet comfort to our website where you can find out all about them. And don’t forget folks, with the driving season rapidly approaching, hit our website before you hit the trail for all those parts and accessories that keep you happily rolling in this RV lifestyle.

RV to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

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bjoern/Flicker Creative Commons

It’s almost time! One of my favorite events is about to kick off on February 28th, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This is one fantastic month of awesome rodeo action complete with trail rides, chili cook-offs, parades, FFA (Future Farmers of America) shows, concerts and much, much more.  The Houston Livestock Show is one of the largest in the country and it is all manned by wonderful volunteers.  My family and I have been going every year, as my grandchildren actually participate in a few of the FFA events and I thought it might be a good idea to do a little blast on the rodeo and livestock show.

Now if you’ve never been, and you live in or around the Houston area, you must attend. There is quite literally something for everyone. You don’t have to be a farmer, a rancher or even a cowboy/cowgirl to have loads of fun. I’m talking, non-stop action, for folks from all walks of life. From events like barrel racing and calf roping, to the best artists in Country Music today and a whole host of farm animals that are certain to bring a smile to the faces of even the biggest kids.

Aside from all that is happening with the event itself, it will not escape your attention, the massive collection of RVs that are present at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. I truly believe there are no less than 1000 RVs in and around the NRG stadium complex during the 3 weeks event. This is a great opportunity for RVers to walk among and check out RVs of all shapes, sizes and ages. You’ll see them all, motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheels both new and road worn. It’s a virtual cornucopia of RVs and is sure to give a few of you that “New RV”, or “Go Rving” bug. Seriously, you won’t be able to miss them.

Like I said, the Rodeo has been a part of my memories throughout my lifetime and I can’t express to you how excited I am to have two of my grandchildren active in FFA. This year, they are showing goats and bunnies at shows in the area.  To make this year even more special, we have several PPL Motohomes employees who work full time here at PPL and then donate hours to the livestock show committees.  It takes thousands of volunteers and I am so very proud of my team for their participation. We all appreciate how important this event is to both Houston and our local farmers and ranchers.

Make plans to go this year. Trust me, it could be one of the most enjoyable family events you’ll have this year. For mor information about the show, just click here!

Safety First!

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Amy Meredith/Flickr Creative Commons

Have you seen those almost improbable sounding commercials on TV where the proud father and beautiful young daughter are standing side by side beaming at the camera and talking about their special family tradition of changing the batteries in the smoke detector on her birthday? First time I saw that commercial I rolled my eyes to myself at the sheer cheesiness of it, but the fact of the matter is… it’s very important to change the batteries in your smoke detector annually and it very much helps to remind you to do it on an important day that you actually remember. We change ours during the Thanksgiving holidays, and to my knowledge we’ve only forgotten once!

When it comes to these sort of safety features and RVs, there are a couple things other than smoke we should be concerned with detecting. Carbon Monoxide is the silent killer for sure, and our engines in the RVs produce it. Having a Carbon Monoxide detector in the cab of the RV somewhere is a very very good idea, especially with the older models where the seals and exhaust system might not be in the best condition. LP gas leaks should also be detected as early as possible.

We actually have a combination Carbon Monoxide/LP gas detector in our RV and it works great. It’s made by Safe-T-Alert, and mounts flush to the wall and powered by the 12V system which means we don’t have to worry about changing the batteries in these detectors! It’s incredibly simple to use and test too. Best thing is if the alarm goes off and you mute it…it will still operate normally in muted mode and if the conditions do not improve the alarm will re-sound. It’s a pretty handy gadget, and offers some peace of mind so you’re not worrying about what you can’t see! If you’d like to know more about these detectors, click right HERE.